TEMPORARY QUARRY SUSPENSION. A copy of the notice posted on Wednesday (June 2, 2021) by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Central Visayas on Facebook regarding the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to temporarily suspend quarry operations in Negros Oriental. The order was issued amid reported violations of environmental laws in the province. (Image grabbed from DENR-7's Facebook page)

DUMAGUETE CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the temporary suspension of sand and gravel quarry operations in Negros Oriental.

A Facebook post by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Central Visayas on Wednesday said the operators were asked to submit their position papers after the Chief Executive issued the order.

The notice said that during Duterte's visit here for the joint national and regional peace and order councils meeting last May 24, he “directed the temporary suspension of operations of all sand and gravel (commercial, special) and quarry permits immediately" amid reported violations of environmental laws.

In an interview Wednesday afternoon, Capitol Information Officer Bimbo Miraflor said Governor Roel Degamo, as head of the Provincial Mining and Regulatory Board, signed the notice in response to the directive of the President.

Miraflor said the temporary suspension will give time for the governor and the board to revisit and verify whether quarry operators have complied with the requirements of the law, such as business permits and environmental compliance, among others.

The DENR said operators/permit holders are asked to submit their respective duly signed position papers to the regional director of the agency through the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office in this capital city.

The notice was also signed by Col. Glenn Mayam, the OIC provincial police director, and Paquito Melicor, Jr., OIC regional director of DENR-7. (PNA)